Saturday, April 30, 2011

What have I done?!?!

It's official, I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon October 11, 2011!!  The random lottery drawing was on Apr. 27th and our group was notified first thing in the morning.  

As soon as I got the notification of acceptance into Nike I was thrilled.  I mean, so many people were already posting on Facebook their disappointment in not getting selected and here it was, my very first time entering the lottery, and our group got selected!  But then reality set in.  There will be no 'break' after the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon on June 5.  You see, I was going to apply to be a mentor for Team in Training for the summer session (which would have also secured me a spot in Nike) but I wanted/needed to take a short break from all of the training.  The running part isn't all that bad, although a short break from high miles to work out some kettle bells would be great to help with my dream beach body.  But the schedule can be a grueling...Thursday night track and Saturday morning long runs that, at 16+ miles, adds up to a long day and does interfere with any potential weekend adventures.  So I had promised the BF I would NOT do TNT this summer so that we would be free to travel, camp, BBQ, and spend some much needed and wanted time together.


And then I got selected for Nike.  Great news on one hand, huge time commitment on the other.  Don't get me wrong...I am THRILLED to be running Nike (and equally thrilled to be getting one of the coveted Tiffany necklaces at the finish line) and I wouldn't pass up this opportunity, after all, most of my TNT girlfriends will be there too.  My BF is super supportive even if he DOES chide me about how much time I will still need to commit to training.  The really good news is that after Jun 5 I will have the flexibility to train on the days of the week that won't interfere with any travel plans.  It will definitely require great discipline on my part and I will be doing some buddy runs with my old TNT friends and perhaps getting some help from the Fleet Feet running group.

Registration PAID, no backing out!

So, here it is, my 40th year of life, trying to accomplish a few things on the bucket list (like run a marathon) and it turns out I will actually be running TWO!  And, just for good measure, I've also agreed to be part of a Tough Mudder team competing in a 10-12 mile obstacle course run at Squaw Valley in September.


But first, we are off to Cabo this coming Friday (and yes, I will be bringing my running shoes)! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why yes, I AM a runner...thank you for asking.

A wonderful thing has finally happened to me...I have become a true runner.  I know what you're thinking..."Lynn, you've been running for years, we've seen you post about it and you're training for a marathon this summer".  But you see, I have never really considered myself a runner.  Sure, I ran.  I ran to lose weight, or at least NOT gain weight while allowing me to eat a little extra now and then.  But I kinda loathed it, having to bribe myself into running with some kind of reward, like being able to watch TV afterwards or maybe treating myself to half a glass of wine.
Benicia State Park

Somewhere along the way, by training with Team in Training, something amazing happened.  I realized one day that I actually wanted to go for a run.  Almost like my body craved it...very much unlike the feeling of needing to run (or work out) to justify what I ate that day.  I have been very loyal to my marathon training.  Our coaches provided us with a monthly training schedule and I have stuck with it for 11 weeks straight only missing 2 workouts due to a cold. 

We ran regardless of the weather...
Track night in the rain and cold.

We ran together for support...

Coleen and me at Cuttings Wharf in Napa

We ran in costume....

Who DOESN'T run in tu-tus and leis in the rain?

I even got to run with a cape! 
I won the Spirit Award allowing me to run my 12 mile long run with a cape!

And when I went camping last week I managed to find some trails that worked for an impromptu track workout and long run...
A good spot for some lounges.

This trail is actually 550 miles long...I only needed 14 of those.
I can't say it's been easy, but it has been rewarding.  I truly never imagined that this shift would occur.  I thought I would always envy those 'real' runners while I plodded around 'pretending' to be one.  I know I am very hard on myself, something that may always be a work in process.  But I am surrounded by an amazing support system of team mates, and my wonderful boyfriend, who always make me feel like a super-star when I run.
The Team!

It's a great feeling and a true accomplishment for me.  There have not been many things in my life that I could comfortably feel I was 'good' at...horseback riding was about it...until now.  And it's not that I am a good runner...but I am a runner none-the-less.
Ok, sometimes the best part of the long run is taking off the shoes...(me in pink).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Learning from natures destruction...

When looking at nature, the destruction and rebirth that occurs on a continuum, it occurred to me that, as part of nature, we really can't expect to escape this reality in our own lives.  And I suppose we wouldn't really mind the rebirth process as much as the destruction.  Forests grow back stronger after a devastating forest fire, animals adapt to their changing environments, mountains are pushed up from earthquakes, valleys become more fertile after flood waters recede, rivers change their courses after glaciers retreat...what if we could apply this to our mental and emotional well-being?  What if we were able to realize, before the self-destructive thoughts and self-loathing that comes when 'bad things' happen, that this is just a precursor to something marvelous?
The Great Lakes were created by the retreating ice.
What if the only way we can grow is to fail first.  That in being torn down by words, thoughts, and feelings, whether our own or from others, we could acquire the ability to be whole.  That if we were to stop fighting for perfection we would see our true calling, and perhaps learn to finally accept who we are, just as we are.  Perhaps we would become uninhibited and less judgmental and this would trickle over into our relationships and we could stop sabotaging our friendships with our constant comparisons and Venus-envy.  Maybe we would learn how to be happy for our friends when they find their own success rather then becoming catty and dismissive in a sad attempt to make OURSELVES feel better.  And maybe we would learn that the best relationships aren't those found in romance novels and movies but in real life, elbow deep in imperfections, complete with dirty dishes piled up in the sink and clothes still in in the dryer waiting to be folded.  

My dad used to say that to truly understand heat (the heat you can only experience in places like Death Valley and the Mohave Desert), you must know cold (as in 40 below zero when you walk outside with a hot cup of coffee, throw it into the air and have it vaporize before it hits the ground), to know pure joy is to also know despair.  Bliss/sadness, infatuation/disgust.  I have bitched and moaned about having been treated badly, abandoned, discarded, and left alone....but without those experiences I would not have found my strength or the joy of being completely alone, yet not lonely.  And I would have never learned how to be a friend, one who can feel total pride and elation when my friend succeeds even when I'm in the middle of my own crisis because, let's face it, not everything is about me.  

Nothing is permanent, yet we hold on to things, feeling, and hurts as if our lives depend on it.  And instead of allowing ourselves to grow and change we hang on, tooth and nail, even though the world is changing around us and it's no longer "good" for us to keep those things.  Time is a gift yet we wallow in the past and allow it to prevent us from moving forward.  We create the pain and disappointment before it even exists by assuming that nothing has changed and what has happened in the past will ALWAYS happen, again and again.  And by NOT changing, we tend to prove ourselves right.

Perhaps we just don't recognize these invitations to grow...we internalize the hurt, the reasons for the failed relationship, the loneliness, the disappointment instead of seeing what it really opportunity for transformation. 
Fireweed grows after a forest in destruction.

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